Apr 16, 2020 - Health

Midwest states launch joint effort to reopen amid coronavirus

Protestors against quarantine orders, Lansing, Michigan, April 15. Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

A group of states across the Midwest is the latest to announce a joint regional plan to reopen businesses in the wake of stay-at-home efforts designed to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

The big picture: President Trump is expected to tell governors on Thursday that he won't hold them back if they want to restart their state economies, Axios' Jonathan Swan and Mike Allen report.

  • Northeastern states, including those hardest hit by the virus, like New York and New Jersey, announced a regional task force to guide the easing of coronavirus restrictions on Monday.
  • Western states including California, Oregon and Washington teamed up earlier this week on a plan to lift lockdowns as conditions permit.

Details: The governors of Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky say they will focus on four factors to reopen their states: (1) controlling new infections and hospitalizations; (2) virus testing and tracing; (3) gauging whether hospitals can manage another virus surge; and (4) how to handle social distancing at work.

What they're saying: “Phasing in sectors of our economy will be most effective when we work together as a region," the governors said in a statement. "This doesn’t mean our economy will reopen all at once, or that every state will take the same steps at the same time. But close coordination will ensure we get this right. Over time, people will go back to work, restaurants will reopen, and things will go back to normal. We look forward to working together as one region to tackle this challenge together.”

The bottom line: Leading coronavirus modeling has recently lowered its projection for the number of American deaths from COVID-19, a sign that social distancing is working.

Go deeper: Michigan protesters rally over Gov. Whitmer's stay-at-home order

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Health experts fear that the protests breaking out across the U.S. could contribute to the spread of the coronavirus.

The state of play: Being outside may limit the danger, but close quarters, yelling, and potential exposure to tear gas, which causes coughing and crying, increase the risk of spread. It's recommended that those who are protesting be tested for the coronavirus.

May 31, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country

Protestors rally in Minneapolis. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Health experts fear that massive protests against police brutality in major cities around the United States could result in new coronavirus outbreaks due to the close proximity of demonstrators, AP reports.

Why it matters: The U.S. has already recorded more confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country in the world. A potential surge in cases stemming from the protests would come as many states are weeks into their phased reopening plans.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Noam Galai, Jamie McCarthy, Josep Lago/AFP, Alfredo Estrella/AFP, and Narayan Maharjan/NurPhoto, all via Getty Images

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 6,222,709 — Total deaths: 373,234 — Total recoveries — 2,667,262Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,795,555 — Total deaths: 104,584 — Total recoveries: 444,758 — Total tested: 16,936,891Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci: "My meetings with the president have been dramatically decreased" — Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Economy: A busy week for IPOs despite upheaval.
  5. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The virus didn't go away.